HARRISBURG, Pa. -

Pa. Sen. Lisa Boscola on Tuesday announced a $10.7 million state low-interest loan that will be used to make improvements to Bethlehem’s sewer system.

Boscola said the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) loan will enable the city to move forward on its upgrades to the system’s sewage treatment plant.

The project includes replacing the belt fiber system with a centrifuge system, upgrade the pump capacity, replacement of the effluent metering system and integrate additional systems into the central Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition server.

The project will increase efficiency and capacity of the system for future growth.

“By reducing wet weather plant overflows, this project will benefit public health, the environmental viability of the Lehigh River, improve water quality and accommodate continued development at the former Bethlehem Steel industrial site,” Boscola said.

“I am pleased to have played a role in obtaining these funds and will continue to work with local officials on other worthy efforts.”

The PENNVEST loan rate will range from 1 percent to 1.7 percent over the 20 year term of the loan.

Boscola said the total project cost for building the biosolids dewatering facility and improving the effluent pump station is $11.6 million.

The current system serves approximately 131,000 customers.

The project was approved at Tuesday’s PENNVEST board meeting in Harrisburg.